A Property Manager’s Guide To: Trash Chute Cleaning Services
I grew up in sagebrush country. I was a kid when the town’s population grew large enough to become a city and the tallest building, to date, built within county lines was a whopping four stories high. I was used to quiet dead-end neighborhoods lined with garbage cans every Tuesday and slow, continuous burn piles smoking away out in the fields on cool summer mornings. It probably doesn’t come has a huge shock when I tell you that I didn’t see a trash chute, in person, until I was an adult and had moved away. The sitcoms of my childhood, though, informed me that these chutes were mysterious tunnels that brought a whole new meaning to “throwing out the garbage” and were the perfect way to dispose of evidence (that one might have come from Law and Order, rather than an episode of Friends).
In the real world, however, trash chutes are an essential part of keeping larger complexes (whether residential or commercial) clean and providing a far easier way for tenants to deal with their garbage. But a trash chute repeatedly coming in contact with all that waste can result in disgusting conditions quicker than you may realize. As a property manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that systems in the building work properly and that your tenants are in safe, livable conditions. While you can request that all trash be secured properly and that no oversized items be disposed of via the chute, your residents are still going to throw away trash, and trash is, well, dirty. This amassing filth can result in all sorts of issues, some obvious – like a foul smell – but there are several, far more insidious, consequences to not regularly cleaning your trash chute system.
Reasons for regular cleanings
- Prevent Fire Hazards – you can’t account for what exactly your tenants are throwing away on a regular basis and some of those waste items could lead to a potential safety hazard if left alone. As bags are thrown down the chute, overtime a buildup of grease, chemicals, cooking oil and other flammable materials will begin to coat the inside of the building’s trash chutes. This accumulation of incendiary substances combined with an increase in heat or some of sort spark can result in a rapid blaze occurring. The chute acts as a chimney for the flames, allowing the fire easy and quick access to all floors of the property. While it may sound like an unlikely scenario, it’s happened in the past and is why trash chutes are required to have fire proofing measures implemented.
- Reduce Odors – Unless you were born with the rare disorder of anosmia and are unable to smell entirely because of it, everyone knows that garbage stinks. The longer trash hangs around, the grosser it gets. If you’ve been noticing an odor permeating from your property’s hallways, it more than likely is originating from a trash chute that hasn’t been properly cleaned in a while. Imagine sprinkling a little bit of garbage from your trash bag into the can every time it was time to switch it out. Maybe you toss a wrapper or two here and a sprinkle of bacon grease there, but you never wipe it out. In no time, your trashcan will begin to look like a science project gone awry while the smell wafting off it could turn stomachs. Now imagine that same trashcan, the same sprinkling of waste but multiple that by several hundred… If you don’t regularly have your property’s trash chutes cleaned, your property will begin to smell of decay and rot before you know it. And the complaints rolling in will reflect that.
- Maintain Air Quality – dirty trash chutes are the perfect petri dishes for bacteria and mold growth. Besides the bad smell, spores originating from the chute can spread through the entirety of your property and even enter the building’s ventilation shafts, posing major health risks for your tenants.
- Keep Pests At Bay – dirty trash chutes and collection rooms are the perfect breeding grounds for pests of all kinds. From rats, flies, roaches, and so on, you can probably find at least one of them in or around a filthy trash chute.
- Increase Your Chute’s Longevity – an ill maintained, grime-congealed trash chute can result in performance issues thanks to clogs as well as suffer a much shorter lifespan. Corrosive chemicals and liquids that are thrown down, and coat, the chute can result in a weakening of its structural integrity if left untouched. You may be able to hang air-fresheners to cover the stench and ignore the rats moving in (probably as human tenants move out) but a damaged and collapsing chute is not easily shoved under the rug for another day. Having your property’s trash chutes regularly cleaned, however, will stave off this erosion and can keep your chute system working better, for longer. Besides, two cleanings a year is much cheaper – and easier – than having to replace the entire chute system every decade and field the resident complaints day in and day out.
When And How?
It’s a good idea to schedule a trash chute cleaning at least every six months (or maybe more depending on the number of residents you have and how many chutes there are on property). Summer and winter are the ideal times to have this service taken care of and – if you schedule in advance – you’ll have plenty of time to warn tenants of the arranged cleaning, helping to avoid any inconvenience or surprises for residents.
When it’s time to give the trash chutes on your property a thorough cleaning, call a professional cleaning service, like Snugs Services, to take care of the job properly. In order to get chutes looking (and smelling) like brand-new, you need high temperature, intense pressure water, as well as the right cleaning solutions and a ton of elbow-grease to ensure the job is done properly. With our tailored equipment and trained technicians, we can take care of one of the hardest cleaning tasks out there, in no time. So instead of mucking around in the grimy black hole that is your trash chute system, rely on the professionals at Snugs to get the job done, so you can get back to doing yours.
Snugs Pro Wash, Inc, dba SNUGS Services, has been providing high quality Pressure Washing Services in Portland, OR since 1995. Started as a residential pressure washing and roof cleaning service, SNUGS is now one of the leading exterior cleaning companies in the Northwest. From our humble beginnings as a man with a truck and a trailer we have grown to become a multi-million dollar company serving corporate customers, name brands, and mom and pop companies alike.